The controversial Congresswoman, known for making statements on topics she has little knowledge of, tweeted about the commercials Sunday. “Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign,” the New York Democrat tweeted late Sunday.
Her theological credentials were immediately questioned by thousands, including many Christian leaders.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue asked what was so fascist about the ads.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez channeled Jesus, saying he would not ‘spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign,’” Donohoe said in a statement. “AOC did not explain what was fascistic about either of the Christian commercials.”
The creators of the ads are also speakign out.
“Our research shows that many people’s only exposure to Jesus is through Christians who reflect him imperfectly and too often in ways that create a distorted or incomplete picture of his radical compassion and love for others,” Jason Vanderground said. “We believe it’s more important now than ever for the real, authentic Jesus to be represented in the public marketplace as he is in the Bible.”
He Gets Us, a campaign touting itself as a “movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness,” aired two advertisement spots during the game. The first one is 30 seconds and urges viewers to “be childlike” while showing children being helpful and kind to each other and animals. “Jesus didn’t want us to act like adults,” appears on the screen. “He gets us. All of us. Jesus.”
“On multiple occasions, Jesus used the term ‘childlike’ to refer to a humble and trusting attitude,” Vanderground said. “Christians often refer to their faith as childlike, being humble enough to place one’s trust in a power greater than self.”
Defenders of the commercials responded to AOC online.
“That’s your take from a great Super Bowl ad reminding us of the truth, universal to all religions and all wisdom, that hate is bad?” lawyer Eric Owens tweeted. “Are you serious? You have jumped the shark.”
Hydra Host CEO Aaron Ginn tweeted at the lawmaker: “Are you a theologian now? What can you not do?”
Former Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones replied to the congresswoman: “Then you don’t know how Jesus works!”
The second ad is 60 seconds long and is meant to promote inclusion amid perceived division. It shows people arguing and confronting each other angrily until “Jesus loved the people we hate” appears onscreen.
“What could possibly be louder and more powerful than hate?” he asked. “Love can. But not just any love. Confounding love. Unconditional love. Sacrificial love. The love we see in Jesus. What if we tried to love our enemies the way Jesus loved his? How would it change the tenor of our conflicts and our conversations?”
Despite the messages of love and inclusion, Ocasio-Cortez took issue with the commercials, appearing to liken them to fascism. “Something tells me Jesus would not spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign,” she tweeted.
–Dwight Widaiman | MV